Staff Attorney

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) seeks a Staff Attorney to support ground-breaking work in support of criminal defense litigation related to Fourth Amendment rights.This staff person is a member of the national affairs team and works under the Sr. Privacy and National Security Counsel.

About Us 

NACDL is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing.  A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.  For more information about our organization, please visit www.nacdl.org. 

NACDL is pleased to provide staff with a generous compensation and benefits package.  NACDL affords the successful candidate an opportunity to work with a dedicated and talented team of experts.

Overview 

NACDL’s new Fourth Amendment initiative will: (1) provide education on emerging issues at the intersection of advancing technology, privacy and the constitutional rights of the accused in criminal cases; (2) establish a practical and dynamic toolkit of resources to help lawyers identify opportunities to challenge government surveillance tools and techniques as they arise in criminal cases; and (3) establish a tactical litigation support network to assist the criminal defense bar in cases that present an opportunity to challenge the use of new technologies and to partner with impact litigators.

The staff attorney will help build the infrastructure necessary to identify key cases that can challenge outdated Fourth Amendment legal doctrine and create new, more durable doctrine for the digital age. The staff attorney will also be responsible for equipping defense lawyers with the tools and technical assistance essential to ensure that Fourth Amendment case law evolves with technology.

The ultimate goal of the project is to empower an educated criminal defense bar to challenge these programs and technologies in court, where the most lasting and impactful policies are made.

Roles and Responsibilities 

  • Conduct trainings and create training modules on 4th Amendment issues.
  • Assist in cultivating a regionally diverse group of NACDL members who are equipped to do trainings and give technical advice.
  • Provide technical expertise to NACDL members ranging from phone consultations and expert referrals to direct assistance drafting legal motions in key cases.
  • Work with NACDL membership to identify cases that are poised to change legal doctrines and put state and federal constitutional constraints on the use of surveillance programs and technologies.
  • Play a key role in conceiving, developing, and overseeing a litigation docket.
  • Undertake and supervise legal research projects, identify cases and issues that warrant NACDL litigation support, and work with NACDL members to brief and argue cases involving Fourth Amendment issues in state and federal courts.
  • Assist the Sr. Privacy and National Security Counsel in setting strategic direction, determining the substantive priorities, and designing and implementing the public education programs.

Experience and Qualifications 

The applicant must possess the following qualifications: 

  • A J.D. degree and a minimum of four years of litigation experience, including experience defending criminal cases.
  • Active bar membership.
  • A demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and criminal justice reform.
  • Excellent research, writing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to engage in complex legal analysis and fact-finding.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities and respond to rapid-response demands.
  • Ability to work well with NACDL’s leaders, members, staff, and allies.
  • Flexibility to travel as required.
  • A working understanding of technology and surveillance concerns as they relate to the criminal justice system is preferred.

To apply: Send cover letter, resume and writing sample (5-10 pp.) to jmusa@nacdl.org using the subject line "NACDL Staff Attorney". Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Prospective candidates are encouraged to apply by November 1. Position open until filled. A realistic statement of salary requirements, mindful of NACDL’s generous employee benefit package, is required. 

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